"Survivor": The merchandise

The castaways went to Pulau Tiga and we didn't even get a crummy action figure. When are the pop-crap purveyors going to deliver the goods?

By Joyce Millman
July 6, 2000 12:16AM (UTC)
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Here we are, almost halfway through the 13-week run of "Survivor" and I can't help wondering -- where the heck is the merchandise? I mean, for a monster hit show that everybody in America is supposedly hooked on, "Survivor" has very little promotional swag to show for itself. Come on, CBS, this phenomenon ain't gonna last forever. It's got maybe five minutes of popularity left before the early adopters abandon it in favor of the next big reality thing, "Big Brother." (It debuts Wednesday.) And then they'll move on to "Funny Europeans in Their Underwear" or "How Much Will You Pay Me to Eat This Hamster?" or something, and you'll never get them back. As for the rest of us, how will we know when it's time to be sick of "Survivor" if the shelves of every Wal-Mart aren't overflowing with cheesy tie-ins? Cheesy tie-ins are our cue! Surely the marketing wizards who brought us Anakin Skywalker toothpaste and Jar-Jar cookie jars are up to this new challenge. So let's go, people! Let's crack this coconut open and milk it for all it's worth!

"Survivor" action figures Hey, kids! Now you can experiment with Darwinian theory right in your own backyard with these cool, poseable Tagi and Pagong tribal action figures! Richard comes complete with combable chest hair and amazingly lifelike jiggly paunch! Susan has two faces, just like in real life -- turn her smiling head around to reveal her hidden devious sneer! Make Ramona lie very, very still! (Pepto-Bismol sold separately.) And don't forget Dirk! Pull his string and he recites 30 different Bible passages! Don't let your friends kick you off the island! Be better than them! Have more toys! Buy these action figures today!

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Puffa Puffa Lice A-new-a, a-now-a, Kellogg's beloved island-themed rice cereal from the '60s returns in a special "Survivor" flavor! Jumbo puffed-up lice is covered with the sweet goodness of freshly hacked tapioca root and sprinkled with big wiggly beetle larvae! It's an important part of a castaway's breakfast!

The Official "Survivor" BB Gun His Pagong teammates voted him off the island in the second episode for being an ill-tempered old coot, but B.B.'s old-fashioned values live on in this fun, authentic, character-building 1940s BB gun! B.B. sez: "Back then, we didn't have any of this fancy Pokimon crap to play with. We had guns! And they shot real pellets, by cracky! We'd go out by the railroad tracks and drill the bejesus out of tin cans and pigeons, and one day Billy O'Shaughnessy put out Dinky Wizniewski's eye by accident, but Dinky was no sissy cry-baby -- he just picked up his eye and put it in his pocket and kept right on shooting at a hobo! He didn't go running off to Tribal Council to tattletale on Billy! No, siree Bob! Those guns were dangerous, dag nab it, and we liked it!" You will, too!

"Sim-vivor" CD-Rom" You get to play God with this all-new computer game from the creators of "The Sims"! Think it's time nipple-ringed goof-off Sean faced his day of reckoning? Bring on the snakes -- lots of 'em! Want to give Rudy a little sensitivity training toward gays and women? Lock him in a tiki hut for two days with Richard and Susan! Curious to see how host Jeff Probst would react if he were tied to a tree and slowly consumed by man-eating fire ants? Make it so!

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"The Pa-Gong Show" CBS tries to keep "Survivor" fever alive next season with a wacky new talent show hosted by Greg, the irrepressible Pagong cutup who kept us all entertained with his "coconut-shell cellphone" antics and spontaneous outbursts of show tunes! Will the other island castaways' singing, dancing and stand-up comedy talents pass muster with celebrity panelists Gary Coleman, Dr. Joyce Brothers and the Unknown Comic? Or will they get "Pa-gonged"? This fall, the address for desperate ratings ploys is CBS!

"Survivor" Barbie It's the survival of the cutest when Barbie and her friends are castaways on their very own desert island! Dress Survivor Barbie in colorful sarongs, just like Ramona wore on TV! Help Survivor Barbie catch fish with her dazzling Sparkle Spear! Give the gang shelter in the awesome Survivor Barbie Lean-to! Take Survivor Barbie to visit her best friend Survivor Stacey in her groovy Survivor Stacey Beachhouse! Make Survivor Barbie jealous of Survivor Stacey's groovy beach house! Have her spread vicious lies about Survivor Stacey to her friends so they'll vote Survivor Stacey off the island at the next Survivor Barbie Tribal Council! (Probst Ken doll sold separately.) Who says life-or-death struggles for tribal dominance are just for boys?

"Totally Survivor: All the Hits from the Smash TV Show" Along with the stirring jungle rhythms of the theme song, you get "Ominous Tribal Council Voting Music," "Sad Music That Plays as the Voted-Out Castaway Leaves the Tiki Hut," the Fatboy Slim remix of Jethro Tull's "Bungle in the Jungle" and the new Elton John-penned opera, "Requiem for the Rejects," with guest vocals by "Making the Band" wash-outs Bryan and Michael. Plus, Smash Mouth's "All Star" and Santana with Rob Thomas' "Smooth," even though they have nothing to do with "Survivor" -- we're contractually obligated to include them on every "Totally" collection we put out! "Totally Survivor" is not sold in stores! Supplies are limited! Act now and receive the bonus disc "Electric Ukeleleland: Sonja Plays the Best of Jimi Hendrix" absolutely free! Operators are standing by!

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Tiga Balm How did the women of "Survivor" keep their skin so smooth and silky in the baking hot sun of Pulau Tiga? With this all-natural moisturizing cream made from aloe, monkey tears and the soft white underbelly of Richard. Try some today and feel like a "Survivor"!


Joyce Millman

Joyce Millman is a writer living in the Bay Area.

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